If you’re interested in making your home as environmentally friendly as possible, it’s not just the reclaimed furniture and the energy saving light bulbs that count. The flooring you choose has a big impact on the environment and it will be the single largest furnishing within your home. Sustainable flooring options have come a long way in recent years, and are now available in practically any colour and texture.
Cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree, usually in the Mediterranean. This relatively new type of flooring is a particularly sustainable choice because the trees don’t need to be cut down for the bark to be harvested, and the bark is able to grow back every three years. Cork flooring reduces allergens in the home due to its anti-microbial properties and can also act as a natural insect repellent. It’s easy to maintain, fire retardant and can be used in any part of the house. For a durable and long-lasting option, cork is a great choice and can be painted or stained in any colour.
Many people assume that Linoleum is a close relation of the synthetic vinyl, but this is not the case. Unlike vinyl, linoleum is made from cork dust, tree resins, linseed oil, pigments, ground limestone and wood flour. Its ingredients are largely natural and it is both water resistant and fire retardant. It doesn’t contain the chlorinated petrochemicals of vinyl and is available in plenty of bright shades. Linoleum is a perfect choice for bathrooms and kitchens, as spills and splashes can be easily wiped up.
Glass tiled floors can be considered a sustainable option if your tiles are made from recycled glass. Glass is suitable for bathroom and kitchen walls as well as flooring, as it won’t mould or mildew in damp spaces and doesn’t absorb liquids. It’s easy to clean, doesn’t stain and makes rooms look larger and lighter, which is great news for small spaces.
Sustainable garden decking choices are getting more diverse, with a wealth of reclaimed woods to choose from. An attractive decking area can be made out of anything, from recycled doors, railway sleepers and wooden furniture. Another option is to choose something like Ultra Deck, a composite pontoon decking as a low-maintenance alternative to traditional hardwoods. These decking solutions wear well without getting discoloured and are especially useful around swimming pools due to their non-slip properties.